So we were on our way to Georgia. The border guard messed up my stamp and stamped me OUT rather than IN; once that was sorted I was OK. My friend got stamped in, and we 100 yards down to the customs area…
They didn’t seemed too concerned about me; just a quick look and I was given the all clear… It seemed my friend however had some questions to answer. Upon opening his boot, I, as well as the guards were quite surprised… It was full of rocks and ‘powdered rocks’ in big zippy bags… A long conversion followed, then of course some of the bags were opened and tasted by the guards. They were suspicious of him, and although I couldn’t understand what was being said; I did understand one word… Heroin.
After 10 minutes or so he was given the all clear and we were allowed to continue on. I wasn’t convinced.
The transition from Turkey to Georgia was amazing; I had never crossed between two countries where the cultural difference was so noticeable. Literally 100 metres from the border and the women were wearing sexy (thought provoking) ‘western’ clothing. There were women like this in Turkey; though the Georgian women were different; it could of been their body language, the way they walked? It was amazing, and I was happy!
It took about thirty minutes or so to get to Akhaltsikhe, the first town on the Georgian side. Upon getting out I offered to pay; my friend refused. Again the hospitality was amazing (or was he just letting me off because perhaps having a foreigner had helped him cross with his car full of smack…)
I had no information; At the time I didn’t even know the name of the town I had just arrived in. I started walking. I couldn’t find any hotels, or even any restaurants. I was hungry and wanted to relax. This was a strange town. It appeared to be stuck in a ‘soviet era’ time warp.
Eventually I found a hotel, it wasn’t too appealing, and the landlady refused to bargain. In the end I wasn’t happy with the price so continued on… It had been close to 2 hours since I arrived. I had since seen my friend several times do ‘drops’ around the town… Guess he was selling his powdered rocks…
I was starting to get concerned. I really didn’t want to head back to the hotel; I’d have preferred to sleep in park; however there was no park!! My prayers were answered when a largish women approached me and asked in very little English if I needed a bed. YES! She would let me stay in what I thought was her home. I entered the big Oak door and was shown a room; it was fine. It was a place to sleep!
There were some other people in the house, and I was soon shyly introduced.
I dropped my bags and headed back out to get some food. I was starving! The only place I could find was a small mini mart type of thing.
I returned after an hour or so and was welcomed with food, and of course beer! The food was very fatty and rich; which was just what I was after!
After dinner, Valerie the guy sharing the place with his sister led me out into the town. Beers followed, many beers. Again, he insisted on paying. I really felt terrible, and tried my best to force my money towards him, he wasn’t having any of it.
We returned after a couple of hours quite drunk. His sister had a friend around, and after some talking and more drinking, I was kind-of ‘offered’ her. I was a lovely gesture, and she was quite nice, unfortunately though I was so dirty and tired I thought it best just to pass out on my own. I felt so dirty I was sure I would have contaminated her!
Probably one of the most memorable and adventurous days on the road!